ask mattrab Visit www.askmattrab.com for more academic resources.

Lab Preparation of Ethane by Kolbe's electrolysis

Kolbe's electrolysis is the electrolysis of salts of monocarboxylic acids that gives higher alkanes. This process is used in lab preparation of ethane.

2R-COONa +  2H2O (electrolysis)= R-R + 2CO2 + 2NaOH + He

At anode

2CH3COO- - 2e-2CH3COO 2CH3 + 2CO2


At Cathode 

2Na+ + 2e-2Na

2Na + H2O⟶2NaOH